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2101 - Nothing New Under the Sun

Brian in 2101 looks back on the history of the world and describes how we got to life in 2101.

I’m Brian fully human with only three body parts replaced. I was born in the Midwest United States into a lower income family of five children. I was born in the middle of the social and racial revolution of the 1960’s. I’m 135 years old and was married 76 years. My one and only spouse passed in 2064 at the age of 98. We had four children two boys and two girls and 7 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren and a number of others which my brain memory doesn’t always recall. Only one of my daughters, the baby, is still alive at age 103. I have remained single since my spouse died. I live a nomadic lifestyle scheduling STOPS or visiting others all 365 days per year. I have noticed my energy level has been challenged in recent years so my lifestyle may be changing in the next few years.


This is the beginnings of a multiple chapter story of what life could become in 2101.  Brian tells the story as he looks back on life from 2101.  Chapters are usually written to cover some aspect of life providing some details of what happened historically and what it means for today (the year 2101).  The chapters will be presented in random order as I have written them or writing them.  The stories are not meant to be fantastic, but possible.  Enjoy the read.  



“That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, See this, it is new? Already it has existed for ages which were before us.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9-10



Is there really anything new anymore?  Isn’t everything just a rehash of something already thought about or done?  Just a better mousetrap!  Here are just a couple of examples.

Even looking at atoms something often understood to be a 19th and 20th Century idea.  Plato, circa 400 BC, and several scholars prior to Plato believed all matter was made up of invisible structures called atoms.  And electricity.  Usually, functional electricity isn’t considered as being determined until the 17th and 18th century.  However, it is believed the Parthians around 250 BC likely had a crude electroplating device or also thought maybe a battery.

The above are examples of physical matters.  Imagine when we delve into the concepts of governing, spirituality, management, education, etc.  Is there really anything new anymore?

With this as a backdrop, I will take you on a journey through the 21st Century and beyond.  First describing my life today in the year 2101, then some 21st Century history, and then thoughts about the next hundred years, the 22nd Century.  The topics will be diverse but limited.  There will be numerous topics not addressed simply due to limiting the size and scope of this book.  Besides, this is just to get you thinking.  You can fill in your own version for those topics most important to you.  This should also help to not only elucidate the selected topics, but help frame the limits and possibilities for those topics for which you have insight and dreams.

Maybe the best place to start is areas that solutions have not yet been discovered or resolved.  Some have made progress or still seriously being studied, but an adequate resolution has not presented itself.

a.                   Cold fusion

b.                  Time Travel

c.                   Allocation/Distribution of Limited Resources

d.                  Instant Transportation/Teleportation

e.                   Poverty - The have and the have nots

f.                   Peaceful Social Organization – Governing

g.                  Wars and Threats of War

h.                  Unifying Theory of God

i.                    Nature vs Nurture

j.                    Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Emotions

k.                  The Singularity

It might also be helpful to explain the concepts of inventive and innovative atrophy.  While new ideas, products, and methods are invented periodically, the new invention fairly quickly has competing inventions. And there is a rapid growth in whatever the invention happens to address.  However, shortly after this burst nothing truly new or dramatically replaces the invention.  This is called inventive atrophy.  This inventive burst is often followed by innovation to the invention.  Innovation is the smaller changes that simply makes it a better mousetrap or used in unique and different ways.  It is reduced in size or made to operate new things.  But fails to change the basic concept.  Over time fewer innovations are found and eventually fewer and smaller changes occur.  This is called innovative atrophy.  Let me provide a few examples.

Let’s look at the pencil and ballpoint pen.  When first introduced, they were new, practical and one could say invented.  The pencil was invented in 1564 and still used in 2101.  The ballpoint pen was invented in 1935 and functional in 1945.  They both have had some innovation since invented but functionally operate essentially as they did at the time they were invented.  For the most part, both have experienced inventive and innovative atrophy.  They had a significant effect on the written word but atrophy, resulting in little change, they did.  One could argue that the typewriter or computer changed how we write.  I would have to agree but it isn’t a pencil, it is a new invention, and has not replaced the pencil or pen.

Let’s also look at the internal combustion and jet engines.  As with the pencil and pen, the ICE while has some inventive modification and innovations since being introduced in 1859, little has changed to the piston and crankshaft; the underlying mechanism that is still part of every ICE.  However, the invention of the jet engine in 1903, the first functional jet engine, used gasoline and could be thought of as an improvement of the ICE.  But again look around, the jet engine still has the same basic layout today.  Yes, key inventions but examples of inventive and innovative atrophy.

If we were to look a few decades after some invention, the impact on society would have been noticeable and incorporated into society.  However, during those few decades, society adjusted to the invention and innovations until they reached some level of homeostasis.  Many of the new inventions of today and the innovation to those inventions of yesteryear will reach a point of virtual homeostasis. 

The computer and artificial intelligence in the first several decades of the 21st century provide another example.  The basic idea behind the computer changed little.  It was miniaturized, used in numerous products, and even individualized, but it eventually arrived at inventive atrophy.  While innovation carried on much longer due to its broad application, the computer has mostly arrived at homeostasis.  Artificial intelligence continues to have innovations, but largely uses the same program and model as it did 40 years ago. 

One point of this commentary is to remind everyone that the theory of inventive and innovative atrophy has a long history and will show itself throughout the 22nd century.  A second point is that truly new inventions are far and few so I don’t expect the 22nd century will be substantially different in the number of truly new inventions than in the last three centuries.  Innovation is more prolific and can spread inventions far and wide.  But they too eventually arrive at virtual homeostasis and/or are replaced by some new invention.





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Copyright © Copyright © 2019 by Milo Kelley. All rights reserved.

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This book is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. This information is given with the understanding that the author engaged in rendering legal, professional advice. Since the details of your situation are fact dependent, you should additionally seek the services of a competent professional.

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